Roswell received "excellent" scores for 30-day survival, advanced technologies and patient services. It also scored as "high-performing" in colon and lung cancer surgery, with an "above average" nursing staff and "average" patient safety and reputation among other cancer specialists.
"We were number 33 last year and we're number 30 this year, so we're going in the right direction," said Roswell Park President and CEO Candace Johnson. "This puts us in the top 3 percent of all cancer centers in the country, out of 900 cancer hospitals, so we're really proud to be number 30."
Johnson said the annual ranking helps patients make informed decisions about their care.
"One of the categories is this survival outcome measure and it looks at risk-adjusted patient mortality, and so we are compared to all these other 900 cancer hospitals and they score us on our abilities for our survival and mortality for patients that walk through our doors," she said. "So that's what it tells the cancer patient, that this is an institution that values this."
Roswell Park is the only New York cancer hospital outside the New York City area to be ranked in the top 50.
Colon and lung are among the six forms of cancer that were found at significantly elevated levels along the Buffalo-Cheektowaga border in an analysis by New York State's Cancer Registry. The others were oral, kidney, espophageal and prostate.
"You know, we have higher smoking rates here than many other places around the country. Poverty and obesity characterizes our catchment area, so we're quite concerned about cancers like lung and colorectal cancer," said Johnson. "We were distinguished in the surgery area. The epidemiology aspect of this is a totally different subject and one that we want to look at to see what are the risk factors and how can we help patients be at less risk."
In its analysis, the state noted that smoking is a risk factor for all of the six cancers except prostate.